When the history of the Tea Party is written, the gathering happening right now in Nashville will go down as its constitutional convention, the moment when a group of grassroots revolutionaries transitioned into a legitimate political force. Yesterday organizers announced the formation of a new political action committee to raise money for Tea party-approved candidates. Its initial goal for 2010 will be to raise and spend $10 million on this year's midterm elections.
The PAC already has a list of five targets led by Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln. It plans to identify another 15 races to support candidates over the next few weeks. Tea Party-approved candidates will be those who have allegiance, above all else, to what convention spokesman Mark Skoda called "first principles." According to the Times, these include "less government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, states rights and national security." Surprising! That doesn't mention discovering secret Muslims and impeaching them from office. Maybe that's a second principle.